BANGALORE: Good news for the people of Bangalore south as the underpass on K.R.Road, near Tagore Circle is slated for inauguration today. Finally, we will be seeing free movement of vehicles on this important junction connecting the southern and northern part of the city. ‘A project that kick-starts with a deadline of 10-12 months goes on and on for 3-5 years’. This seems to be the thumb rule for our conscientitious Bruhat Bangalore Mahagara Palike (BBMP) officials.The inspection visits by Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda and Mayor Shardamma failed to speed up the projects in anyway. Despite repeated warnings to the contractors, it did not yield any result. The underpasses at Kadirenahalli, C N Rao and KR Market still await for inauguration as they missed deadline after deadline and the officials remain totally clueless on the reasons for delay.
An underpass is usually taken up at specific traffic junctions to address the issues of daily traffic snarls as well as handling high traffic density. However, on the contradictory, the long dragging projects in the city have instead exacerbated the traffic problems in these areas, clearly evident from the number of PIL filed by the resident’s associations till date.
Delay: The reasons for delay in all the underpass projects has been the same, ranging from protest from public on the land acquisition issue to delay in the shifting of sanitary lines by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
Tagore Circle underpass: This underpass will be inaugurated today after a long hiatus of three years. The total cost of the underpass stands at `1949 lakhs lakhs. Amidst public protest in 2008, the BBMP gave the underpass project to PMJ Constructions and Simplex Private Limited in July 2008.
K R Market underpass: The Market Underpass was kick started in September 2006 by the BBMP at an estimated cost of `6 crore. Although the deadline to finish the work was 2009, three years have elapsed and people are still awaiting its inauguration.
C N Rao Underpass: The `30.14-crore C N Rao Circle underpass project that is all set to connect Malleswaram and Mekhri Circle to Yeshwanthpur has been witnessing undue delay since the inception of the project from Januaray 2010.
Kadiranahalli underpass: This Underpass was taken up in March 2008 and was to finish by January 2009. The same story repeats here as the project has been stretched till 2012. The estimated cost of the project was `19 crore which gradually went up to Rs 28 crore.
When City Express contacted Chief Engineer Som Shekar and inquired about the present status of the underpasses, he said, “Tagore circle is ready for inauguration on April 14. As far as Kaderanahalli underpass is concerned, we will finish it by this month end and Market underpass will take one more month.” He attributed the delay in meeting the deadline to the contractor.
Funds are poured in by the BBMP each year, with lot of promises but to what extent this trend of delaying developmental projects go on ? Will this ‘chalta hai’ attitude continue for ever and people suffer from the continuing delays?